SBS to provide A-League with free-to-air platform, report says

Australian public-service broadcaster SBS is reported to be close to a deal with the A-League, Australia’s top football league, for live free-to-air coverage beginning next season.


Pay-television operator Fox Sports currently has the exclusive rights for all A-League and national team matches in a seven-year deal, from 2006-07 to 2012-13, with the Football Federation Australia, the rights-holder. The federation is keen to secure free-to-air exposure for the league in the new cycle.


The federation is in talks with broadcasters about a new five-year deal, from 2013-14 to 2017-18, for the rights for the league and national team.


SBS’s proposed agreement would allow it to show one game live per week as well as highlights, while Fox Sports would retain live rights to the other four weekly fixtures.


SBS is reported to be considering not renewing its Uefa Champions League rights if it wins a deal with the FFA. SBS and pay-television broadcaster ESPN are the current Champions League rights-holders in Australia.